There has been a limited amount of research on the spread of COVID-19 in rural essential workers. New strategies are needed to keep open rural essential workplaces, such as coal mines, during the ongoing pandemic.
The long-term goal of this study is to reduce the spread of the pandemic in miners, a population of high-risk, rural essential workers who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and who are predominantly racial/ethnic minorities in New Mexico.
The study looks at the effectiveness of frequent molecular testing as a tool to monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this important group of essential workers.
The study site will be a surface mine in McKinley County, New Mexico, located just outside the Navajo Nation, made up of 66% minority miners. Miners at the site will provide nasal swabs every other work shift, which will be analyzed with the Abbott ID Now™ COVID-19 test.
This study site will be compared with a similar mine site located in Campbell County, Wyoming.
The researchers hope to determine the effectiveness of this type of frequent testing in work settings where social distancing and other risk reduction strategies are not possible.
Findings from this study will provide guidance in the future to help protect rural essential workers and to help keep rural essential workplaces open. The study will also provide important information for the planning of vaccine interventions in rural minority essential workers.
HRRC ID 20-680; Date: 12/21/2020; Version 1